- A Chicago-area nurse quit her job after the hospital forbade her from wearing an N95 mask.
- Other nurses have dealt with similar problems.
- Hospitals across the nation are trying to silence their distraught workers.
Amid a troubling mask shortage, a Chicago-area nurse says she bought her own N95 mask to bring to work. But she alleges the hospital told her she wasn’t allowed to wear it. Not even while caring for a COVID-19 patient in a designated COVID-19 unit.
In a tearful Instagram video, Imarís Vera, RN, explained she felt that she had to quit. Vera said, “I wanted to work,” but she says she left the hospital Monday after her manager wouldn’t allow her to wear her own N95 mask.
According to her LinkedIn, Vera has over three years of experience working in trauma, post-operative, cardiac, medical, surgical, and full-critical nursing care.
She described unseemly conditions for a hospital treating patients infected with the coronavirus. Vera alleges nurses aren’t wearing masks in the hallways when giving report. Further, she says the hospital is making them reapply and reuse masks stored in brown paper bags after treating COVID-19 patients.
Nurse Speaks Out About COVID-19 Response
Vera says she was trying to keep herself safe while helping in the fight against COVID-19. And she was looking out for “family members who have pre-existing conditions” that make coronavirus especially hazardous. That’s because they “wouldn’t get a ventilator if they contracted” COVID-19 from her.
In a difficult-to-watch Instagram video uploaded Monday, Vera said:
I quit my job today. I wanted to work. And I was assigned to a COVID patient on an ICU unit that has been converted to a designated COVID unit. None of the nurses are wearing masks, not even surgical masks in the hallways when they’re giving report to each other.
She says she told her manager she brought her own N95 mask, but the hospital wouldn’t let her wear it. She was treating a…